before, a counsellor’s lament, 6

I imagine she loved me, working at Bloomingdales, strawberry sweater, yellow cheese sandwich, lying on Cathy Richardson’s oak floor at a Christmas party ( her mom was a soap tv opera actress, Cathy was blonde

barbara was latte; she practiced writing our names together, initials ‘bo’ – as opposed to her present ‘bm’

what was my before, I imagined and I imagine now

I will always love you

I need, want, desire you

or later,

I will never hurt you as she, Barbara ( only more )

or, I don’t love you enough to do that or,

I will always be there for you, physically, emotionally, spiritually ( only less )

less, less than before

if I could only, only escape a moment, this moment of my memory I could

stop putting me hand, my right fingers, into the warm open faced grilled cheese sandwich Cathy gave me while I lay on her floor as Barbara stepped on my chest; bringing out to her smile, her ‘hi’

I want to be, be before, all

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